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August 01, 2023

Eagles 2023 training camp practice notes, Day 4: Jalen Hurts is kinda killing it out here

Hurts probably had his best day on Tuesday in what has been an already very good camp so far.

Eagles NFL
060123EaglesClaggett-Jalen-Hurts-5 Colleen Claggett/For PhillyVoice

Jalen Hurts

Day 4 of Philadelphia Eagles training camp is in the books, and it was the first padded practice of the summer. It was a busy practice, so let's get right to the notes.

• The Jalen Hurts to A.J. Brown connection remains dominant. Early in practice, Hurts hit Brown on a well-executed back shoulder throw with James Bradberry in coverage. Good throw, timed well, good route, good catch.

Later in practice, Hurts launched a deep throw to Brown, who hauled in the pass for a touchdown. The ball probably traveled around 60-65 yards in the air, which was all the more impressive given that Jalen Carter was closing in on him. (Quarterbacks don't get hit in camp, but in my opinion the free rusher made the degree of difficulty a little higher.) The ball found Brown on the other end near the hashes. Bradberry was in coverage once again, so it's not even as if they're beating slappies out here.

Hurts probably had his best day today in what has been an already very good camp so far. 

• We may as well get the elite player highlights out of the way first. Jason Kelce had an impressive block about 15 yards down the field on a screen play to Boston Scott. He cleared Terrell Edmunds out of the way for a big gain. If you're wondering if old man Kelce still has the athleticism to make highlight reel blocks out in space... yes, he does.

• Speaking of Terrell Edmunds, the Eagles showed some three-safety sets on defense today. Reed Blankenship and K'Von Wallace were on the back end, with Edmunds serving as a dime linebacker. That makes sense. Edmunds is listed at 6'1, 216, and could pass for an undersized linebacker. Sydney Brown got some second-team looks today after mostly playing with the third-team defense the first few days of camp. Blankenship continues to play exclusively with the 1's.

Dallas Goedert has been involved in pretty much every practice. He caught a quick hitter down the seam for a nice gain, and he got open on an out route for a reception. Christian Elliss was in coverage on both plays, but really nobody has been able to cover Goedert so far.

Staying with the tight ends, Tyree Jackson was active today. In a red zone session, he made a nice catch on a difficult ball from Ian Book in the red zone, but could not keep both feet in. Later he ran a good slant route, and Tanner McKee hit in between the numbers with good timing. Marcus Mariota also found Jackson for a completion near the sideline. If Jackson can play the rest of camp and the preseason games like he has played so far he's going to make the team.

Milton Williams had a nice day. I wouldn't call it a double team necessarily, but he beat two blockers — Sua Opeta and Brett Toth — for a tackle for loss on Mariota on a designed run in the red zone.

• We got a little taste of RB vs. LB pass protection 1-on-1's. I would say that the highlight was a Nakobe Dean rep against D'Andre Swift. Dean barreled right through Swift with a physical rush. That's part of Dean's game. He had 6 sacks in his final season at Georgia. It will be interesting to see if Sean Desai dials up a a few blitzes for Dean each game.

• We got some OL-DL 1-on-1's today, too. Some highlights:

  1. Nolan Smith killed Chim Okorafor on an outside rush. It's not like he dusted Lane Johnson or something, but it's still pretty clear to see that he is a gifted athlete. (Smith also got immediate pressure on a play during 11-on-11's, by the way. It was at the other end of the field, so it was hard to see, but I assume he was unblocked. Even still, he got to the quarterback fast.)
  2. Derek Barnett smoked Tyrese Robinson on an inside spin move.
  3. Milton Williams got underneath Sua Opeta and walked him back into the pocket. Good power rush.
  4. The first-team OL pretty much won all their matchups, Cam Jurgens included.

• The boys were hittin' today. The two highlights:

  1. UDFA CB Mekhi Garner drew first blood when he absolutely annihilated Charleston Rambo, who was arguably a defenseless receiver in the flat. Rambo's legs flew up in the air and he hit the ground hard.
  2. Dan Arnold had a nice catch and run, which ended abruptly when he ran square into K'Von Wallace, who dumped him to the turf. De-cleater.

Garner's hit is definitely not something the Eagles want to see in practice, but Garner saw his chance to make a big hit and he took it. It's all fun and games when you hit Rambo like that. It won't be if it's DeVonta Smith.

Garner is big (6'2, 212) and he's slow (for a corner) and he hits. The Eagles are loaded at corner. Put that man at safety.

Marcus Mariota had another shaky day. His lowlight was an overthrow to Dan Arnold that landed softly in the arms of K'Von Wallace. Easy INT for K'Von.

• We've noted a few times so far that Brett Toth has had a lot of bad snaps while trying to play center. Add at least two more to the tally. His bad snaps are almost becoming disruptive enough that the team has to consider getting him out of there so he isn't messing up reps for the other players on offense.

Janarius Robinson had a batted pass today. He had another one of those earlier in camp. Long, lanky dude. 

• You want punter notes?

I saaaaiiiidddd... DO YOU WANT PUNTER NOTES?!? Because we got a lot of 'em, bitches! Arryn Siposs and undrafted rookie Ty Zentner had a long-field blast off session, and a "pin them deep" session.

I timed the blast off session for hangtime:

Punt Siposs Zentner 
4.73 4.53 
4.93 4.61 
4.75 (shanked to the right) 4.69 
4.00 (ugly)4.76 
AVERAGE 4.60 4.65 

Neither of those hang time averages are good. Donnie Jones used to consistently hover around the 5 second range, with some bombs having upwards of 5.5 seconds of hangtime. Siposs was worse than Zentner during this session, as two of his punts were clearly bad.

I also charted where each punter landed the ball during a coffin corner session.

 PuntSiposs Zentner 
 16 yard line13 yard line 
 25 yard line 10 yard line (landed out of bounds) 
 33 yard line 6 yard line 
 413 yard line 4 yard line 
 52 yard line  
 65 yard line  
 74 yard line  
AVERAGE 5.4 yard line 8.25 yard line 

I thought both punters were very good during this session, and I'd give the edge to Siposs.

The two bad Siposs punts in the blast-off session are bothersome, so I'll officially award the day to Zentner.

• Brandon Gowton and I will have post-practice podcasts throughout training camp. They'll populate below a few hours after we publish our notes. And here's the iTunes link. Review, subscribe, etc.

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